Wednesday, July 15, 2009

5. Unrequited

Endless loveImage by via Flickr

Once, I met a boy. He had straggly long greasy hair, and he was very awkward. He was the kind of boy who felt more comfortable behind a computer then he did talking to people. The two of us hung out with a group who were refered to as the "recy's" because they hung out at the recreational building across from the high school and smoked cigarettes. I desperately wanted to be a part of these people. A part of me was always a bit rebellious.

One day, this boy asked me out. I don't know why I said yes, I had just broken up with Juan, and I had my eyes on a number of the other, more popular boys in my class. As his car came to pick me up, I remember laying out on my bench in my backyard, trying my best to look cute. I was so nervous. Maybe I made him nervous, too. He was only seventeen, and I was only a freshman. I was taking him to meet my grandmother. I always took my boyfriends to meet my grandmother because she always had such good insight into their personalities. She could meet someone once and tell me if they were right.

It was supposed to be a simple, easy day, but things never turn out the way we plan. As we turned onto her street, we crashed. Or rather, an oncoming car crashed into us. Right into the passenger side door. I can still see it as if in a movie, like slow motion. The paramedics needed the jaws of life to pry me out of the car. The smell of crumpled metal is something that never leaves you.

I spent the night in the hospital with a fractured hip. I remember at one point being rolled past that awkward boy's room as I was taken in my hospital bed to the x-ray machine. I covered up my head so he wouldn't see me in the condition I was in. I was blind out of one eye from the airbag dust, and dressed in a horrid hospital gown. Later he would tell me how he thought at that moment that I hated him. I would laugh, and explain to him that no, I was just vain.

He felt so bad. He spent the rest of that month, that entire summer, at my bedside.

And that was how we fell in love.

His name was Bill. People in school asked me why I dated him. He wore a trench coat every day; he was labeled as a dork, an outcast. I would shrug my shoulders and think who cares what they think. It doesn't matter, high school. Life after this is what matters, and if we get married, then who cares. I loved Bill so much. It was puppy love to the extreme. I couldn't wait to get out of class so I could see him in the hallways. We spent every second of every day with each other, even when we weren't really with each other. He would write me poetry, and I would in turn write him poetry in answer. We would exchange it between classes.

When your eyes dance in mine
I feel that time would wait for us
and forever would forgive us
just this once
so I would never have to look away.

He wrote that for me and I will never forget it. He was the smartest person I had ever met and I admired him, I loved him, and at the time, I had no idea we would have so much destiny together ahead of us.A month before he left for college we were lying in bed together, locked in each others arms while I cried. I knew that things were never going to be the same. He wasn't going far, he wasn't even leaving home. But I knew.

We dated on and off for five years. During those five years so much happened. He was diagnosed with depression, and put on medication, but for the first two years I stood by his mood swings. In turn, he stood by me as I cheated on him three times. My family always told me I was too young to settle down, and after all the grass is always greener, especially when you are fifteen. Things weren't ever perfect, but I always went back to him. And for those first three years, he kept me out of trouble.

His mother was a raging alcoholic, and because of that he wouldn't permit any form of drinking or drugs. And me being the doting girlfriend, I listened. At least, at first. If only it could have stayed that way forever. I really do blame myself for what happened to us. To what happened to him...little by little I wore him down. My cheating became more to rebel against his wishes then about the men. I wanted to party, I wanted to experiment...eventually, he had to make a choice. It was either join me or leave me, and Bill did love me so much.

My life and Bills life have intertwined so many times that our story sometimes becomes one in the same, so I had to introduce you to him now. I met him six months after my father passed away, and really, Bill shaped me in more ways during that time then any other man in my life to date. Our influence over each other took us to very dark places, but it also took us to heights I never would have imagined. So my story is also Bill's story. I will never love anyone like I loved Bill.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Friday, July 3, 2009

4. Thoughts from the forfront.

vintage family, grandparentsImage by freeparking via Flickr

Dear Diary Feb 25, 1997

The police are here. My father is dead. Self inflicted gun shot wound to the head. I didn't even know Dad owned a gun. Turns out he's owned one all my life. I'm laughing at it, it doesn't seem real. He's DEAD. Money is going to be tight now. Will I regret stuff? That I've been mean to him, or that I didn't spend enough time with him? There are cops here, they're talking about telling Grandma. She'll have a heart attack. And all I can think about is the sympathy I'll get. Why didn't anyone ever tell me we owned a gun? Will I have to cancel all my plans? I hope mom doesn't start drinking. Life is going to be so different. He's dead. Mom and Nana are planning the funeral. He's going to be dead in that box...Do you think I'll cry now? I don't feel tears, I'm the most together person here. I can't believe this is happening to ME. Wow...


I called up a few of my friends, they were shocked, they didn't' know what to say. Nana and Uncle Joe are here, Aunt Lisa and Ted. Its so weird, everyone tries to comfort me, and I don't want it. I feel invisible, no one is listening to me.

What if mom gets remarried? Or if we have to move back to our old town? I feel like everyone is trying hard to act sad, but its only an act. Nana said we might rent out the basement to keep up the money. Mom called Grandma, she was sobbing.

And now, I end a Chapter in my life, ironically, the last page in my diary. Its almost 2 am, and "My heart will go on" by Celine Dione is playing on the radio. Aunt Lisa says she's surprised I'm reacting like this. I've got a good head. Life goes on, my life will at least. I don't think I'll ever cry, maybe one day. This is so selfish of my dad, leaving us like this...Life goes on...

When it happened, I was on boyfriend number two. Juan was a dark skinned boy from my old town who I had met online. He was two years older then me. We had only been dating for about six months. His friends had become my friends, two Asian boys, Pete and Jon. Pete had a crush on me, and it I had fun making Jaun and him compete. I had made a few new friends in the town of Springfield, but nothing as concrete as the friends I had grown up. The friends who had quite recently turned their backs on me. While we were sitting Shiva, while my family was grieving, I was with my boys, with my friends. On the outside, I was always smiling, laughing, I was a typical teenage socialite. I don't know what my family must have thought of me.

Dear Diary, Feb 26 1997

They say Dad was Depressed. Grandma knew, and she had told him to tell mom. He should have been on pills they said. I mean, its over now, but if Grandma had just spoke up. but now I'm looking on the bright side. Mom will have a harder time controlling me, and I'll have more privacy, and maybe mom will get remarried. Maybe the guy will have kids? But now I have a lot of chores, and money is really tight. I'll be home alone now more then usual. Mom, Nana, and Aunt Lisa left somewhere around 10 am, they should be home soon. I told May, she was shocked.

I keep thinking that Pete was talking to my Dad right before he left. I kept telling Pete he was a grump and he only laughed when I told him I wasn't joking. Dad was acting grumpier then usual. I keep thinking how Dad was all uptight about little stuff like the newspaper, and the money. I wonder what was going through his head, he had a daughter and a wife, and parents who almost had a heart attack when they found out. He is really selfish...or was...I have to write was now...I'm just like him, selfish and stubborn. What if I do the same thing one day?

Dear Diary, Feb 27, 1997

The Rabbi just left. They want me to write a poem for Dad. The Rabbi said I was angry and blameful. She said she could feel it. I kept thinking I don't want to talk. I felt like if I said something, I'd cry. The funeral is tomorrow. I have a choice of looking at him. I'm going to cry. I don't want to. I'm scared. If I talk about him, how he was, stuff he did, I think I'll cry. I can't. Stay strong, find it, find the strength, I don't want to cry! This is crazy.

Dear Diary, Feb 28, 1997

I woke up, pulled on my black clothes, and went with Nana, Uncle Joe, and mom to the burial thingy in Maplewood. Pete came first out of all my friends, and then Liz and Susan. They all cried, and then Jon came, shaking again. This was all after we looked at the body. I say, 'the body' because it didn't look like dad. I didn't want to go in with just mom, so I told Nana and Aunt Lisa to come in too. Mom took one look and started sobbing. She spent about five minutes standing over him. I stayed sitting, and comforted mom. When I did take my look, I was repulsed. But a little curiosity brought me back and I looked again. It was so scary. I can't explain it. I saw him, but it wasn't my father. Grandma and Grandpa looked and started crying too. The ceremony was solemn, they read my poem, and Aunt Lisa gave a speech and started crying at the end.

At the end of the funeral, Liz and Susan promised never again would that happen. We'll always talk. Forever. I love Liz.

After it was all over, we slowly drove down the highway in one of those processions of cars that follows a hearse with the head lights on. We got to the cemetery and buried dad.

Prom is coming up soon. Both Pete and Juan want to take me. Why are things so good, when really they are horrible? I have so many great friends, and I have such a wonderful family, even if I deny it. Everyone says I'm going to get sad soon. I am sad, my smile is forced most of the time, and so is my laugh. Life is going to be so different from now on. Its 12:22 am, I'm so tired. Goodnight.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Saturday, June 27, 2009

3. Sex in the Suburbs

Romeo and JulietImage via Wikipedia

But let me backtrack. I was fourteen years old when I moved to Springfield. I had only lived in one other town previously, and it was the running joke that everyone who lived in Springfield was snooty, rich and vain. Apparently, thought my old friends, that simply by moving into a nice house your personality instantly changed. Not that my original home wouldn't have been considered a nice neighborhood. On the contrary, it was very suburban. Yet Springfield had mansions, it had the doctors, the lawyers, the kids whose first cars consisted of Porches and BMW's.

It was not my first choice of places to move, but when my mother asked me if I was up for it, I jumped at the opportunity. I loved adventure, and what better adventure could I get then to reinvent myself, start completely new! Maybe this time I would be the most popular girl in school!! Ah the shallow thoughts of a fourteen year old.

So here I was, in a new town, making new friends and inventing my new self, meanwhile my old friends didn't want anything to do with me. The summer before high school started I was already told by more than one person that they could see my personality changing. I was a bit put off to say the least, and tried as convincingly as I could to explain that I was the same girl.

Then I met a boy. He was two years older then me, with a face full of pimples and a very strict christian upbringing. We dated for a few months, making out everywhere we went, and getting yelled at for public displays in more then one place. I kept a journal of every kiss, every touch, every first. He was not my first kiss, but he was a first for many other things, and I loved the experience I was getting. I think I was more in love with the learning then I was with this boy. He was like a stepping stone, if you will. It was my thinking that if i learned all I could with this one, then when I fell truly in love I would know what I was doing. This type of thinking has gotten me into trouble many, many...many... times.

So I'm sure you all know where I'm headed with this, at the age of fourteen, a freshman in high school, I had sex for the first time. It was very uneventful, and it would just be wrong to go into detail, and truly, the sex itself is not my point. Its the events that followed after.

I called my fickle friends, my best friends in the entire world, who I grew up with and trusted with my life. I called them excitedly and told them what I had done, "I am no longer a virgin!" I exclaimed. They were unimpressed, knowing my personality, they were not one bit surprised, saying that they had suspected all along that I would be the first. Actually, I was proud, thinking myself a pioneer! Perhaps I had revealed all this with an air of a bragster. Maybe that's what lead them to do what they did.

I never thought that they would do what they did.

Following a wonderful date at the roller rink, my mother and father picked me and my pimply boyfriend up. My father drove as my mother sat in the passenger seat, she smiled as we got into the car. We sat close together, holding hands and giggling. Ignorant of the events that had transpired while we were out. My mother started right in.

"I got a phone call," she said, turning to face us in the back seat. The smile had faded from her face. My father didn't say a word. "It was Susan and Liz," My best friends? Why had they called. My brain raced to try to understand what was happening. "They told me they were concerned for you, Sarah. They told me some alarming news. They informed me that you guys had sex." The word came out of her mouth in more of a spit then a sound. Uh-oh, I was in deep doo-doo.

"What? Oh my god, no we didn't!" Ah that will get me out of it! Just pretend like I'm outraged. She can't prove anything! Its their words against mine! Who will she believe, her daughter, or her daughters friends?!

"Your diary doesn't lie." My mother said. My father just drove, silently.

"You read my diary?!" I was stricken red with anger, with embarrassment. The details in that diary...had my mother read them all? Ohmygod, how much detail had I put in there. How thoroughly had she read my words. How dare she!! I was mortified, absolutely and completely. But that argument was not going to get me out of this, and neither were lies. Whether my mother was in the wrong or not, I was stuck and there was nothing I could do.

"I called your parents," my mother sternly addressed my boyfriend now, who had dropped my hand and moved away from me, as far away from me as was possible without jumping out of a moving car. His eyes were cast down, his christian background making a debut show of itself at the worst time. I think he was waiting for the wrath of God to come hurtling out of the sky, as if the wrath of our parents wasn't enough. "The four of us spoke at length about what to do," (By four, I'm sure she meant three, my father never had much to say on such matters.) "We all agreed that you two should not be allowed to see each other again." End of discussion, case closed. She turned around to look out the front window, and we drove the rest of the way to drop off my now ex boyfriend, in silence.

I cried for days, screaming about how unfair this all was, how she wasn't allowed to read my diary, how she couldn't stop me from seeing boys. I wasn't used to not getting my way, and the tantrums were outstanding. Truly, it was a work of art. Usually, my mother got mad, I got punished, and within a day she would cave in and the punishment would end. This time was different, though, and I was more frustrated then anything else.

And was I ever mad at my friends! How dare they break our trust! Susan and Liz weren't concerned about me, they were just mad that I had moved away from them! They were jealous! Well I didn't need them, I didn't need anyone!

My mother always told me to be careful what you wished for.

That car ride home was the last time I ever spoke to my first. It wasn't the last time I spoke to my friends, however. It would only be a few months later that my father chose to leave us. I mentioned previously that everyone came to the funeral. Not the best circumstances for patching up a friendship, but I suppose it was better then not making up at all.

And do not think that I came out of all of this bitter! I forgave my friends. I never retaliated. I never called their parents with my concern. When they began popping E every weekend, when they really started to change...Of course, as you can see, the thought crossed my mind. But that was never the type of person I was. Kill 'em with kindness was always my motto. I don't know, maybe I should have tattled on them, maybe a better person would have.

Maybe moving to Springfield did change me, maybe I did become more vain. After all, I was pretty when I wanted to be, I knew what I was capable of.

And now I had a whole new weapon at my disposal. A new tool. I had sex.

Friday, June 26, 2009

2. The Moment of Change

Resume the suicideImage by gfbpublez via Flickr

How do you pinpoint that moment in your life when everything is going to change. Do you think as its happening, "This is it." Does time slow down like a movie, do you see each passing second happen as if in some fatal accident? Or do you only notice later, years later, when your lying in bed at night trying to figure out what this life is for, Ahhh that was it.

Well I know, I know the moment my life changed, I knew it as it was happening. I kept a journal at my side the entire time my life was transforming. I felt my whole being shifting. I can still hear my mothers sobs as her whole body gave way under the weight of the news, "Your husband was found dead with a self inflicted gun shot wound to the head." It was an officer at our door who told us at 1am.

My father had been missing for three days, he had left no note, he had taken nothing of importance with him. At the funeral everyone told me they were sorry, but I was too angry to care and I never cried. I was angry at my father for being so selfish, I was angry at my mother for not loving him enough. I was angry at myself for being a bad daughter. Yet, my eyes remained dry. My mother sent me to shrink after shrink. I would read them poems I had written, I would talk at length about my feelings and my family. They would in turn tell me how well adjusted I was. None of them ever seemed to notice I had no tears.

It was only years later that I would sit and think about my fathers final moments. It is hard even now to see these words in print. It is hard to face what might have been his final thoughts as he sat in his car, alone. How much pain must a human endure to sacrifice...everything...? My poor father...

So yes, I know the moment when my youth was whisked away. Innocence was lost the moment that bullet left the gun. I can clearly see the before and after, it is that simple. People are sometimes asked, if they had a time machine, would they go back and change the world? Would they stop Hitler, prevent the atom bomb from detonating? I wouldn't. I would be completely selfish. I would go back and hug my father. I would tell him everything is going to be okay.

I wonder, if things had gone differently, if that bullet had missed, would I still be the person I am today?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

1. To be Simply Sarah

Hello, my name is Sarah. I'm a twenty-six year old screw up. I might not look like a screw up, I have nice clothing, a winning smile, I'm smart... Yet somewhere along the way, my decision making went awry.

I have flunked out of three, count them, THREE colleges. One was right out of high school. I got into William Patterson University, and when that acceptance letter came I outright teared up. I spent one year there, floundering around picking the right major, sleeping through classes, and generally sleeping around. After that first year my mother told me it would be better for her wallet if I just found a job and finished school when I, "got my head on straight".

A few years later, and a whole lot of debt and mistakes trailing in my wake, I enrolled in a community college. At the time, I was working as an assistant Pre- K teacher, and I thought that I had finally found my calling!! I was going to get my degree and work in an elementary school! Yet once again my party life found a way to mess everything up. For some reason going to class seemed to be the biggest hassle. So my final endeavor, my last try, I was going to go to school online! I mean how could I possibly mess up online school? I could do it in my pajamas, the commercials exclaimed! And that first class was glorious! I took music appreciation, and I must say I aced it with flying colors. And then, once again, I puttered out.

Don't get me wrong, as I said, I'm smart. When I put my mind to something, I get wonderful grades. The problem is putting my mind in the right spot. I seem to go through life with this attitude of having all the time in the world. However, I'm starting to feel that time is running out.
In my twenty-six years the only thing I have to show for myself is a track record of bad grades, odd jobs that don't last for more then a year, a divorce, and a very long list of parties. I'm a twenty-six year old screw up, watching successful people get younger and younger, while I am getting older and older. I have a dream, you know, I want my wonderful husband, my white picket fence, my career that I'm proud of, my two kids. This is my last chance. I'm tired of my family seeing me as the one with all the potential and no dedication. I'm tired of telling people that I only have "some college" under my belt. I don't want to list the drugs that I've done as my only accomplishments in life. I'm don't want to be a screw up any longer.

So I'm going back to school. Four times is a charm right? Except this time I have a huge debt, I have no idea how I'm going to pay for it. I have a few months to figure all of that out, but this time mommy isn't going to bail me out. I have no husband to fall back on. Its all me.

This is my blog about my journey, about how I got here and where I'm going. If I succeed, which I hope I do, this will track my progress and help me stay focused. In the months following I'm going to allow whoever reads this blog a look into my life, my ups, my downs, and everything in between. My fingers will remain crossed that at the end of this journey I will no longer be Sarah the screw up, I will simply be Sarah.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]